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If you’re new to blogging, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about web hosting and domain registration. There are several digital companies that offer hosting services for bloggers. DreamHost is one leading option, since it’s a fast and reliable host with a variety of plans to fit your budget. In this DreamHost review, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about this web host and whether it’s right for you and your blog.
DreamHost is a web hosting company based in Los Angeles, California. It was formed in 1996 by four undergraduate students at Harvey Mudd College in Claremount, California.
As a fast and reliable web hosting service, lots of bloggers rely on DreamHost to host their websites. Let’s take a closer look at its pros, cons, features and more.
- Pros of DreamHost
- Cons of DreamHost
- Performance and site speed
- Customer support
- Plans and features
- How to sign up for DreamHost
- Who is DreamHost best for?
- Who is DreamHost not right for?
- Bottom line: Is DreamHost good or not?
Pros of DreamHost
Here’s why so many bloggers choose DreamHost to host their blogs:
Easy to use
DreamHost’s control panel features a simple and easy-to-use interface. You definitely don’t need to be an expert web developer to launch your blog using this web hosting service.
Knowledgable customer service
DreamHost’s customer service is known for being knowledgable and helping you solve any issues you run into with your blog.
Multiple hosting options
The company offers dedicated hosting, cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting and shared hosting services. We will discuss the best hosting option for bloggers later in this DreamHost review.
DreamHost comes with the latest speed technology, such as SSD drives, to keep their customer’s websites and blogs up and running and reduce bounce rates.
The company has a strong anti-spam policy, which comes with free WHOIS privacy.
Blogs hosted on DreamHost are almost always up and running.
Safe and secure
The web hosting service provider offers Multi Factor Authentication, auto-enabled Secure File Transfer Protocol, and secure hosting with Let’s Encrypt.
While most web hosting companies offer 30-day money-back guarantee, DreamHost gives customers up to 97 days to decide whether they want to keep this service.
Cons of DreamHost
Although DreamHost has a lot of useful features, it may have a couple of downsides, depending on your needs.
No free email for starters
If you choose the starter plan, you will not receive a free corporate email. In other words, you’ll need to pay an extra fee for an email that reads something like, “email@example.com.”
Slow customer service
Some DreamHost reviews have complained about slow customer service. While the company offers 24/7 customer support, their live chat is available only from 5:30PM to 9:30PM Pacific Time. If you need support outside their normal hours, you will have to submit a ticket, which could take hours before getting a response.
What’s more, the company doesn’t offer direct phone support. You must request a call back from its technical team. This feature isn’t free, and there are limits to how many call backs you can request per month.
DreamHost performance and site speed
According to most DreamHost reviews, the company has one of the fastest servers in the industry.
Given the availability of high-speed internet today, there is no excuse for slow websites. Slow websites, however informative and beautiful they may be, lose a lot of traffic. They also rank lower in search engines compared to faster sites.
To avoid this problem of sluggishness, DreamHost uses SSD servers (which are up to 200% faster than regular hard drives) and other advanced technologies to increase the loading speed of their websites.
Most reviews of DreamHost show that the web host offers up to 648ms page speed, which is excellent for blogs that are keen on retaining visitors and converting traffic into sales.
While DreamHost’s customer support is available 24/7, this around-the-clock availability does not include their live chat feature.
The live chat feature is available only from 5:30AM to 9:30PM PST, which could be frustrating if you need urgent help. Although you can still submit a message via the chat feature at the bottom right corner of the website, you may have to wait for hours to receive a response from a customer service representative.
DreamHost also has the ‘DreamBot’ feature that is designed to help you when the live chat is unavailable. When you first visit the website outside of normal working hours, here’s what you’ll see when you click on the chat feature.
All you need to do is select the kind of help you need from the provided options, and the DreamBot feature will connect you with a solution. The company also offers customer support via Twitter and their active forum.
Here’s a look at their verified Twitter account:
DreamHost plans and features
DreamHost has two main web hosting plans: Shared (starter and unlimited), DreamPress and VPS. Read on for a quick look at what each plan has to offer.
This is their most basic plan, which is ideal for starters and new bloggers. It comes with a $3.95 monthly hosting fee, but the price varies depending on the duration of the plan as shown below:
- Monthly plan: $3.95 per month
- One-year plan: $2.49 per month
- Three-year plan: $2.49 per month
This option supports only one website, which comes with a free domain, and WordPress pre-installed. It also supports unlimited traffic, free automated WordPress migrations, among other features as shown below.
However, the main disadvantage of this plan is the lack of a free custom email. If you need an email such as “firstname.lastname@example.org,” you will have to pay an extra $1.67 per month.
This option comes with unlimited websites, free domain name, WordPress installed, and free unlimited emails. It also supports unlimited traffic and automated WordPress migrations. For improved speed, this plan also features fast SSD storage, and a free SSL certificate for enhanced security.
Here’s a breakdown of the pricing for the shared unlimited plan:
- Monthly plan: $8.95 per month
- One-year plan: $3.95 per month
- Three-year plan: $3.95 per month
This plan is specifically designed for high-performance. Starting at $16.95 per month, it comes with one WordPress website, free domain, unmetered bandwidth, 30GB worth of SSD storage for increased speed, unlimited email, 24/7 support, and other features.
Note that the DreamPress plan is also subdivided into three categories: DreamPress, DreamPress Plus and Dream Press Pro.
With DreamPress, you’ll enjoy exciting and useful features such as:
- One click staging: Test new plugins, themes and code before publishing your website.
- Bulletproof backups: Helps you protect and restore your site thanks to advanced backup features.
- Built-in caching: To enhance speed, this feature does automatic caching to save you the time, stress, and energy of performing caching yourself.
- JetPack Professional: This feature is only available on DreamPress Plus and Pro. It helps design and protect your site while also growing your audience.
- Premium themes: DreamPress plan also lets you choose from more than 200 themes to build your website.
- Web builder: It comes with a drag and drop website builder to help you customize your site and create something you love.
- Premium support: Enjoy premium support available any time of the day to keep your site up and running.
Here’s a more detailed look at the three DreamPress subcategories, including their pricing and key features.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Servers, a website hosting option that provides you with resources that only your website can use. Given that such resources are only accessible by your site, this alternative guarantees high performance, unrivaled power, and low latency.
These are some key features of the VPN plan offered by DreamHost:
- Unlimited MySQL Databases: If your site work with databases, this option lets you set up custom MySQL in your control panel.
- Unlimited email accounts: This makes your site seem more professional, consequently earning the trust and confidence of visitors.
- Scalable memory: As your site grows, so does its memory. You will be allocated with 1GB worth of memory and easily scale up as your site expands.
- Unlimited bandwidth: You will receive as much traffic as you can. However, DreamHost requires you to follow their unlimited policy.
- Reseller accounts: You can create unlimited reseller accounts to manage clients, FTP, billing, and more.
- Unlimited hosting: Host unlimited number of websites on your VPS without compromising on speed or performance.
- Increased speed: The VPS plan comes with SSD hard drives of up to 250GB for enhanced speed and performance.
- Advanced features: Features such as Node.js, Secure Shell access, one-click application installer, Ruby, Python, and password protection are all available under this plan.
The VPN hosting plan from DreamHost comes with three main categories: VPS basic, VPS business, VPS professional and VPS enterprise. Now let’s take a look at the features, differences, and pricing of the three plans.
How to sign up for DreamHost
It’s easy to sign up for DreamHost thanks to the site’s simple and neat interface. Here’s a step-by-step guide to walk you through the entire process.
Step #1: Select a plan
On DreamHost.com, click on the Getting Started button at the top right corner of the home page. You will be redirected to a page that displays all the hosting plans available. Choose your preferred plan under Chose Your Plan by clicking on the Sign Up Now button.
As mentioned, the Shared Starter plan is a good choice for new bloggers looking to create one website.
Step #2: Choose a domain
After selecting your plan, you will be required to either provide an existing domain name, register a new one, or postpone the whole process to a later time. If you choose any annual plan, DreamHost gives you a free domain.
Here’s an example of what you will see if you select the Shared Hosting plan.
Step #3: Confirm and pay
Here, you will be required to provide your credit/debit card details and other billing information. You will also provide your account information, which consists of your email address, name, and phone number. If you want to receive notifications about discounts, news and tips from DreamHost via email, click on the checkbox next to Sign Up For DreamHost Emails.
Step #4: Choose any add-ons and submit
Finally, you can choose any of the provided additional options or remove them completely by unchecking the checkmark next to the description. The additional options are as follows:
- Pre-Installed WordPress: I highly recommend using this free option. It sets up WordPress on your account to launch your blogging journey.
- DreamShield Protection: For an additional $3.00 a month, this option scans your site to protect it from malicious code, broken permissions, out-of-date software, and more. It is highly recommended for security reasons.
- DreamHost Email: This option shows up only if you have selected the Shared Starter plan. As explained earlier, the Shared Starter plan does not come with custom email accounts; they have to be purchased separately.
- G Suite: This comes with a 30-day free trial, followed by a $6 per month fee if you decide to keep the subscription. With G Suite, you will get Google Drive cloud storage, Google Calendar, Google Meet and more. This option is only recommended if you are working with a large team; you do not need it to start or succeed in your blogging career.
Who is DreamHost best for?
DreamHost is an outstanding option for both new and established bloggers, thanks to its seamless integration with WordPress. Features such as SSD drives for improved speed make this web hosting option even more effective in attracting and retaining traffic.
This web host is also suitable for bloggers who are in the process of launching their blogging career but have a shoe-string budget. Plans such as the shared starter, which costs as low as $2.49 for the yearly subscription, can be helpful to new bloggers who have yet to make money on their blogs.
PRO TIP: Even if you start on DreamHost’s Shared Starter plan, you can always upgrade as your blogging business grows.
Who is DreamHost not right for?
One potential downside of this web hosting service is the lack of direct phone support.
However, the company offers an alternative where clients can request callback from the technical team. To receive a callback (up to three per month), customers must add this option to their account, and will be charged a monthly fee.
Also, DreamHost does not support Windows-based servers.
If phone support and Windows-based servers are some of the key things you are looking for in a web hosting company, then DreamHost may not be the right option for you.
Bottom line: Is DreamHost good or not?
According to most DreamHost reviews, there is no doubt that DreamHost is one of the best web hosting service providers on the internet. The fact that they have been in business for more than two decades proves the quality of their hosting services.
DreamHost is one of those web hosting companies that has everything you need to kick-start your blogging career and expand it to great heights.
I highly recommend DreamHost, especially for new bloggers who want to launch their blog from scratch with an affordable but reliable hosting plan.
Are you ready to launch your blog? Head to my ultimate guide on how to start a blog, where I teach you step by step how to get your blog up and running.